Can Bitcoin be Stopped? Nigeria has something to say.

Written by Rodrick Chattaika

February 13, 2021

“The reality is, whether Facebook is involved or not, change is here. Digital currencies exist, blockchain technology is real, and Facebook’s entry in this new world is just confirmation, albeit at scale.

“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin white paper, envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force. We should not attempt to deter this innovation. And governments cannot stop this innovation.” ”-Patrick McHenry, US Congressman, (2019)

“Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless, or valueless”- Sani Musa,Nigerian Senator (2021)

A tale of two cities, or countries for the matter. In the evolution of Bitcoin, there are two sides; the side that accepts this technology isn’t temporary or “just another bubble” against the side that fights the technology and believes they can stop it.

I am sure we can all see that one side of that is completely delusional.

What the Nigerian government is attempting to do is to try to save a currency that the Central Bank ruined itself. Is it wrong for the people of such a country to be able to have a safe haven from the complete obliteration of their hard earned wealth due to unstable economic conditions that they did not have a direct part in? Senator Sani Musa understands Bitcoin very well.He has stated that Bitcoin gives people the freedom to break away from the chains of institutions and give them control of money they have earned. People already  pay taxes on their income, yet the state goes further in to try and control how they spend the rest of their money too? 

What does a “ban” on Crypto do in today’s market? Exchanges such as Binance have had to put a hold on Naira deposits as their liquidity partners in Nigeria can no longer deal with cryptocurrencies under the orders from the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).

However, this does not deter the strength of the cryptocurrency community as it is so strong that there is not much a government can do to stop it. The limitation of trading through exchanges and banks has only led to trade in cryptocurrencies moving to peer to peer platforms. The whole point of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin was to strip away intermediaries. That is why many  cryptocurrency enthusiasts are perfectly comfortable switching to peer to peer trading.

Congressman McHenry got it right: there is nothing you can do to stop the growth of crypto. Nigeria is a standing testament of it.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have given people freedom from everexcessive control from governments, and now governments are finding it hard to control that. Well, the crypto community has given Nigeria a rain check…you can not stop this wave.

This is not the first time the government has had issues with cryptocurrency. Duringprotests against police corruption in the country last October , the Feminist Coalition  began taking in crypto donations when their bank accounts were frozen and it couldn’t accept funds.

What is your Company’s relationship with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies? Do you think it is fair? What are your views on the CBN’s standpoint on Cryptocurrencies?

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. It is only intended to provide education about the financial industry.

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